What happens when we are unable to meet someone else’s expectations of us? The idea of unconditional love is wonderful but perhaps as humans we are not capable of this. Do we always hold expectations about those in our lives? Do we then judge others if those expectations are not met? It makes me stop and ponder if I do this as well. If someone chooses to include me in their life, I feel honored. I really do not ask anything from them other than friendship and sharing time together. However, when I look at those people that I have distanced myself from I wonder if it was something I judged in them as not meeting my expectations. There are times when I feel like just shutting off from the world, just going into a cave with no human interaction. This feels safer actually than allowing the vulnerability and potential hurt that can come from being judged by others. Hurt, pain, sadness is a part of this human experience. At those low moments we take a deeper look at ourselves and sometimes ask where we failed. However, it isn’t always us that failed. Perhaps we did not meet an expectation that we didn’t even know was there. Sometimes the one holding the expectation does not even realize that the resources are not available to be able to meet those expectations. Things like pride can get in the way of letting others know that perhaps we are financially unable or otherwise incapable to do certain things. This can lead to the feeling of being “less than” and not enough. Confidence can be shaken and self-doubt take over. In a perfect world we are all the same, all equal. However, this is far from a perfect world. Competition and comparison run rampant. It is often said (and even by myself) that we are mirrors of each other. I’m not sure I believe that anymore. I’m still digging for the answer although the hurt makes the glass a little cloudy, but I am holding onto faith and believe that with time (and some window cleaner) it will become clearer.
I have reached the end of my sojourn that was a month-long process for me. I have visited family and friends, met many new friends and have been able to give real hugs to some friends who were only virtual friends before this trip. I have seen snow and beautiful countryside scenery and then entered into one of the most peaceful serene places on earth and immersed myself in its healing energy. I am not returning home as the same person I was when I left. So much has changed that it would be impossible to put it into words. It’s the is-ness experience to the fullest degree possible. “Is-ness” is living in the Now moment; choosing to surrender completely to what is happening. I consciously made it mine, allowing the unfolding of the event to be whatever it would “be” without the burden of my expectations. This does not mean that I had no desire concerning the outcome of the experience but my desire took a backseat to the flow of energy that happened with the experience. With every experience that happened on this journey, I allowed it without attachment to the outcome. I said “yes” to the is-ness. I let go of personal attachments easily and without regrets. It takes great courage to do this, to step out of your comfort zone; yet, I do not feel courageous. I feel empowered, spiritually expanded and physically renewed.
I feel I can now say yes to whatever is out there for me to experience. I have experienced being open to the flow of the “is-ness” and choosing to do so has transformed my entire life. This experience was made possible because of one person who believed in me, who wanted only the best possible outcome for my experience. Her love and support was given without personal agenda but rather with compassion and in response to urgings from her higher self and spirit guides. Many thanks to my dear friend Jeryl Anne. I know we have a lot of work to do together and I am super-excited for that!
How do I thank you for all you have done
For loving me unconditionally
For believing in me fully
How do I thank you for sharing life’s adventures with me?
Simply by loving me loving you – unconditionally
Close your eyes. Relax into whatever comes to you after the darkness. Wait in anticipation as if you were waiting for the beginning of a movie at the theater. Do you see the curtains opening? Do you hold an expectation of what image might show up or will you be pleasantly surprised? Wait for it. With your eyes closed and body relaxed, now you are ready. What is that word you hear? Follow it. Go into the sound of it, the way it is said, the possible meanings. When you shut out all other stimuli and let yourself receive, you enter a place where you can be you. Who are you? Let the word answer the question. Follow the sound, see the word written in front of you. Look at how it is written. Go to it and touch it, smell it, get to know it. This word that comes to you is your creation. Get to know it intimately. Did the darkness disappear as the word came into focus? Did your word light up that dark space you entered when you closed your eyes? This is how powerful you are, dear ones. You are creators. You have within you the means to bring light where there is none. You can bring joy into sad hearts. You can make a difference if you only close your eyes and find your way out of the darkness.
I am so grateful for this day! I feel “seen” by God. I know the angels are surrounding me. I am loved. I am that — I am! I am the sound of a thousand songbirds. I am the rush of a million waves in the ocean. I am the quiet snow on the mountaintop. I am the breeze brushing against my face. I am the children’s laughter coming from the playground. I am the words written on this page. I am peace. I am LOVE. I am joy. I am that!
July 6, 1975 was my last dialysis treatment of what was a hellish 8 months of undergoing 5-hour per day 3 times a week treatments. My kidneys had failed in November the prior year, landing me in the hospital for the entire month. I remember those days like it was yesterday. I had gone on vacation in October to visit my family in Kentucky before my baby was due as I was only 6 months along. I didn’t get to see them very often because I was so far away, having moved to Florida 2 years earlier. When I got back from vacation, I went from looking like I was 6 months pregnant to what appeared to be a 9-month pregnancy. I felt okay except for what I assumed were normal pregnancy issues – swollen feet, tiredness, etc. I say assumed because it was my first time pregnant. I was scheduled to see my Ob/Gyn when I got back and he was alarmed at the change in size of my belly and told me he wanted to run some tests, so he sent me to the hospital to do so. It would be 30 days before I saw the outside of that hospital due to what was diagnosed as “acute renal failure.” There was no way to know how much time had passed since the kidneys stopped functioning as they labored to filter the blood of me and my unborn baby. Had I not gone for that routine exam, I would not be writing this story now.
On July 7, 1975, I was taken – along with my brother Ken – to the operating room early in the morning. It was going to be a full day of surgery and at that time kidney transplants were still pretty much in their infancy, the first in the US being 1954. My nephrologist, Dr. Metzger, assured me I was in good hands with the surgical team he had gathered. Ken and I were wheeled down the hallway, hand in hand, for what I consider to be the greatest sacrifice one human can make for another – the gift of life.
So today, July 7, 2017, I celebrate 42 years of a successful kidney transplant. Dr. Metzger tells me it is the longest surviving kidney that he has transplanted. For 36 of those years, I have taken no anti-rejection medication. I am currently in a research project at Emory University Transplant Center with Dr. Kenneth Newell and have been for over 10 years, the purpose of which is to determine the factors present in my system and others like myself who are “tolerant” patients that are different from others who need to remain on medication. The more information gathered by this research, the more future transplant patients will benefit from it. It is my way of paying it forward.
For me, having been given an additional 42 years that I would not have had without this gift is a true miracle. It is a bonus that I have not had to endure the side effects of the medication. I honestly give all glory for this miracle to my wonderful Creator who is ever-present in my life. Each day I wake up, I give thanks for another day alive. I ask to be a blessing in the world and to shine my light out through loving and lifting others up. I give gratitude for everyone and everything in my life. I know none of us is guaranteed one more minute than this very NOW that we are living and I will continue to shine my light for as many of those moments as I have left here on earth. If you love someone, tell them. If you are grateful for someone, tell them. Don’t let another minute pass by without letting others know how important they are to you. I love you! Namaste